Wednesday, 3 August 2011

Dressing the Part for Burlesque Baking

What a lovely sunny afternoon it is today in London town.

Perfect Tea Party weather!

Sunshine calls for lovely summer dresses, so I thought I'd share the latest edition's to the Vivien of Holloway's collection with you. 
Their classic circle dress (which I have in 3 colours now!) is now available in ... wait for it ... cupcake fabric! 
The dress is well cut and the bust so well structured, undergarments are optional. It also spins fabulously, when pretending to be Maria in the Sound of Music.


I chose to wear my blue floral one today for a frolic in the sunshine.
I often wear my Vivien dresses to bake, as well, why wouldn't I want to look fabulous whilst slaving over the stove.

All the more reason now you can get one adorned with fabulous little cupcakes.

The Cherry's and Plain Red versions are also firm favourites.

Dresses start at £69, so not bank breaking.

But shhhhush, keep this little gem of a shop to yourself as we don't want other people looking as fabulous as us do we!

Saturday, 2 July 2011

Happy Canada Day

Canada is often forgotten as a country that brings fabulous things to the world.

They made Kiefer Sutherland ....
Michael J Fox
Double Yum
And lets not forget the Mounties!
Just too much yum for one blog! 
Alas, these fine male specimens are not my favourite Canadian creations. Where would the world been without good old fashion, sweet and delicious Canadian Maple Syrup! Without question the best syrup in the World! 

So to celebrate Canada day, I decided to use their best export and make Canadian Maple Cake. 
My inspiration for this cake came from my Mum’s Ginger Cake recipe. I substituted the Golden Syrup for Maple Syrup and topped with a Maple Cream Cheese Frosting, which just included adding a ¼ cup of Maple Syrup to my favourite Cream Cheese Frosting recipe from the Hummingbird Bakery Cookbook. 

The spiciness of the cake really brings out the flavour of the Maple syrup. 

The recipe makes enough for 2 loaf cakes. On this occasion I made one loaf cake and 2x11cm Mini Cakes. You could halve the recipe to make just one cake, but its so popular with my friends and family I always make the full quantity.  

Maple Cake - Ingredients
- 1 cup of Maple Syrup
- 1 cup of water
- 2/3 cup of soft brown sugar (packed tightly into the cup)
- 250g (or a std pack) of butter
- 31/2 cups of plain flour
- 1 tsp of bicarbonate of soda
- 2 tbsp of ground ginger
- 1 tsp ground nutmeg 
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon

Maple Frosting - Ingredients
- 100g butter
- 1/4 cup of Maple Syrup
- 150g of cream cheese
- 500g Icing (Confectioners) sugar

1. Put butter, syrup, sugar and water in
a saucepan and heat until the butter is
melted through

3. While the mix is cooling, preheat the
oven to 180 degrees and grease and line
 your baking tins, or grease and flour
if your using spring
release tins. 
4. Sift dry ingredients together


5. Combine syrup mix and dry ingredients
with a metal spoon until smooth. 

6. Fill tins to about 2/3 full and bake for
approx 40 mins. Could be shorter or longer
depending on the strength of your oven.
Skewer test it from about 35mins gone, every
10mins until the skewer comes out clean.

7. Leave cakes to cool on wire rack.


8.Whisk the butter, maple syrup and creamcheese for 1 min until smooth, before sifting in the icing sugar and mixing for 2mins.  The right temperature is the key getting the best texture of frosting , so the butter should be at room temperature and the cream cheese cold and straight from the fridge. 
9. Cut the cakes in half and generously fill the middle with the frosting,  then top the cakes with even more frosting. 
 The cakes came out really well, quite crispy on the outside, but this added a nice bite to the rest of the cake which was delightfully soft. The Maple Syrup really improved the texture of the frosting so is something I would use again, perhaps on a Carrot or Coffee and Walnut Cake.

I know this recipe is good, really good. How you ask? Nanna Burlesque said so, so there! 
Would you believe Nana Burlesque is 91 this year! Now thats how you rock glamour in your 90s! 

Go Canada! 

Friday, 3 June 2011

FOUND: Marshmallow Fluff in the UK

Super excited! 

Was having lunch at Selfridge's in Birmingham and what did I come across?

Marshmallow Fluff - Original Tub
OK, so it was expensive at £4.95, but with so many marvellous recipes calling for it as an ingredient, I was delighted to finally find somewhere that sold it.  

Can't wait to tackle some Cupcake recipes with it this weekend. 

Thursday, 5 May 2011

Will's and Kate's Royal Wedding Cake (s)

Ok, so I'm still completely mesmerised by all things to do with the Royal Wedding.

I have now bought my commemorative Will and Kate Royal Mug, and am holding out for a beautiful tea towel.

I have still have most of the papers from the weekend still to read - having bought them all, and I still haven't quite made it through the special Royal Wedding additions of the glossys.

My first point of call magazine wise was, as always Hello!.

It was there that I stumbbled on the first picture of the Royal Wedding Cake made by Fiona Cairns.

All I can say is WOW!

Fiona Cairns started out just like you and me, baking in her kitchen. She now employs 50 people and  supplies Harrods, Selfridges, Waitrose and evidently the Royal Family!
The cake perfectly compliments the floral theme of the wedding, with hidden messages in 'the Language of Flowers' just like her dress and bouquet.


Rose (white) - national symbol of England
Daffodil - national symbol of Wales, new beginnings
Shamrock - national symbol of Ireland
Thistle - national symbol of Scotland
Acorns, oak leaf - strength, endurance
Myrtle - love
Ivy - wedded love, marriage
Lily of the valley - sweetness, humility
Rose (bridal) - happiness, love
Sweet William - For guess who?!
Honeysuckle - the bond of love
Apple blossom - preference, good fortune
White heather - protection, wishes will come true
Jasmine (white) - amiability
Daisy - innocence, beauty, simplicity
Orange blossom - marriage, eternal love, fruitfulness
Lavender - ardent attachment, devotion, success, and luck.

I think it is an absolute master piece and just demonstrates what a beautiful (and tasty) art-form cake baking has become.
The cake took 5 weeks to complete, and decorations were being added until the very last minute. 

My favourite part of the cake was where Will and Kate's initials were intertwined with each other. So romantic!

Most of the magazines chose not to cover the chocolate refrigerator cake (a speciality of my Mum's) that Will had requested specially from McVities (unfortunately not my Mum). The Groom's cake, looked a lot fancier than my Mum's version, but just like traditional American Groom's cakes clearly demonstrates the fun and playful side of Will's character.

 Unlike Fiona's cake, which might be a little bit difficult for a regular baking enthusiast (understatement of the century), you can make your very own Will's Chocolate Refrigerator Cake. 

You'll need:
100g butter
300g milk chocolate
400g condensed milk
Large packet of Digestives or Rich Tea biscuits
Handful of glace cherries
Handful of raisins
Variety of chopped nuts

What to do:
Crush the biscuits in a bag or large bowl.
Stir in the raisins, nuts and cherries.
Melt the condensed milk, butter and chocolate in a pan.
Mix everything together in the bowl.
Pour into a tin lined with greaseproof paper.
Put in the fridge until set, or freeze.
Break off a piece and enjoy

Ok, it won;t look as fancy as the actual one he had, but I bet it tastes bloody great!

Rule Britannia and all the Jazz!

Burlesque Bombshell - Quote of the day

" I don't believe in low fat cooking" 
- Nigella Lawson
A Burlesque Siren of sorts and a girl after my own heart

Saturday, 30 April 2011

Royal Wedding Cupcakes

Was anyone else disappointed with this super quick smooch?

From what I have read on all the blogs over the past few weeks, the Royal Wedding has been the biggest thing to happen in the cupcake world since, well, the cupcake world began! Well at least since cupcake blogs began.

Check out American Cupcake in London's Guest Blog on Cupcake's Take the Cake for the full low down:

Since I am a true Monarchist and LOVE the Royal Family, especially the pretty ones, I did attempt to make my own Royal Wedding cupcakes a couple of weeks back.

I am a frosting girl at heart I find covering the frost with fondant icing a challenge. These are simple Vanilla Cupcakes made from a vegan recipe during my short stint on a dairy free diet, covered in red and blue fondant icing (pre-made from Dr Oetker) and some piped white Royal Icing - how fitting.
The Rosette and napkin are from Asda. 

1) I began by covering the cakes in a thick layer of dairy free frosting.

2) I started the Union Jack design by cutting out thin circles of the blue icing slightly larger than the circumference of the cupcake. I then smoothed them over the surface of the frosting and cut round any overlapping edge with a sharp knife.

3) I cut strips of red icing, rolled to the same thickness. For each cake I had 2 strips about 1cm thick and 2 strips 75mm thick, as the diagonal strips on the Union Jack are a little thinner.

4) I layered these on and piped white icing around the edges of the red.

5) Then I added the Love element - I cut some hearts from the red icing by hand using the point of a sharp knife, wet with a little water and then dipped in red edible glitter, plonked it on the top and iced round it.

... and Voila. 

Don't they look awesome in the Red Box available from

Disappointingly, I have not seen many Royal Wedding Cupcakes in my local shops, but here are a few I they were serving at the Leonard Street Royal Wedding Street Party where I celebrated the glorious occasion.
These cookie towers looked great, but were a little dry. 

Loved the red, white and blue sprinkles. 

The only Rice Crispy Wedding Cake I've ever seen! 

Burlesque Betty would like to offer these 2 a lesson in  Burlesque Baking! Where are the smiles and Va Va Voom ladies?



Thursday, 28 April 2011

Cupcake Wrappers - The Fur Coats of the Cupcake World

Cupcake wrappers are the fur coats of the cupcake world. They transform your cupcake from 'Sandra Dee' to 'Tell me about it Stud'! 

Please don't confuse these with cupcake cases, which like a sexy dress can also transform your cupcakes. Cupcake cases are more everyday, like stopping your cupcake going out naked, not dressing it up for a movie premier. 

Here are my favourite places to buy cupcake wrappers. Be warned, they are expensive where ever you buy them from! Bare in mind 3 things when contemplating whether or not to invest: 

1. They are super cute! 
2. They are re-usable and recyclable 
3. If your a little challenged in the baking department, they will hide a multitude of sins. has the widest range of cupcake wrappers. 
  • - have more bold coloured designs than other sites I've found.
  • have some really bright and funky designs. - has a nice selection with a few wrappers that can't be found on other sites, like the balloon ones below. have some lovely feminine styles, perfect for a tea party. 
    Picket Fence cupcake wrapper from
    A selection available from Crafty Twit's shop on Ebay. 
    Picture courtesy of Sweetsassycake's Blog -

    I am, at some point, going to attempt to make my own so any tips or suggestions welcome!